Category Archives: Arts

Designing Iconic Texas Art

Ida Rodriguez holds a work in progress, a decorated steer skull, in her South Texas Longhorns studio. (VBR)

With a dream of becoming a fashion designer, Ida Rodriguez started out designing and sewing her own clothes. Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley town of Alton, she was one of a family of seven with a father who was the sole provider, and a strict patriarch. In her early 20s she had an opportunity to attend fashion design school in Dallas, but her father said no; she needed…

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Venue Gives Valley Boost

Welcomed with great fanfare and full houses, the $88-million, 219,000-square-foot Bert Ogden Arena opens a new chapter in the Rio Grande Valley as the largest entertainment venue in South Texas and a boon for regional economic development. An estimated 5,000 people turned out for grand-opening ceremonies and arena tours in August, entertainer Luis Miguel performed a sold-out concert in September, followed by a near sell-out for a WWE wrestling card.…

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Arts and Cultural Center Coming to Edinburg

(photo City of Edinburg)

On March 2, the City of Edinburg Library and Cultural Arts Division and the Edinburg Arts Foundation unveiled a new sign marking the spot of the future South Texas Arts and Cultural Center. Plans are in the works to renovate the old Sam Houston Elementary School. The vision is to feature local artists, host family-friendly cultural events, and attract more visitors to the city. The city acquired the property at the corner…

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Lighting a Fire in Edinburg

Edna Pena

On a recent Friday, Edna Pena walked into the Dustin M. Sekula Memorial Library in Edinburg and seemed to know everyone and everything before making her way to the office of the director. “I’m a social butterfly and a free spirit,” said Pena, the president of the Edinburg Arts Foundation and a former president of the local chamber. “I never start at zero. I start at 100 percent and go…

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Talk Looks at RGV History Through Architecture

“Brownsville Architecture: A Visual History”

There are several ways one can imagine life 100 years ago and one of those ways is looking at historic buildings. The Museum of South Texas History, a museum chronicling the heritage of South Texas and northeastern Mexico, welcomes Deval “Pino” Shah and Eileen Mattei Feb. 11 at 2 p.m. as they present “Lower Rio Grande Valley History Through Architecture.” Pino Shah is a world heritage photographer based out of…

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Multimedia Art Event Explores the FOLD

A close-up of an interactive installation created by Laleh Mehran, whose work has been exhibited around the world. (

Exhibit opens Feb. 2 Art that challenges space and time will be the focal point for FOLD: Art, Metaphor and Practice, a series of art exhibits, lectures and live performances over the next two months in McAllen and Edinburg. Artwork by 13 women artists will converge in what is described as a presentation of works that explore the concept of the fold in terms of form and conceptual metaphor in…

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Clark Shapes Clay into a Business

Sculptor Doug Clark shapes clay on a work in progress at his studio. (VBR)

“I’m not a be-still or sit-still kind of guy,” said sculptor Doug Clark in his Edinburg studio. The number and variety of bronze sculptures he has created in his 35-year career are a testament to that. In McAllen alone, 65 of Clark’s pieces are on display, including Quinta Mazatlan’s extraordinary statues of native animals and his Veterans War Memorial of Texas’s statues and remarkable Korean War plaques. His Janis Joplin…

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The Business of Teaching Creativity

Hands In Art owner Margie Ramirez has built a business out of teaching art techniques to young people.

Anaid Madrigal stands before a group of young girls enjoying a birthday party with an added twist. Madrigal is teaching the girls how to improve their artistic skills as each one draws little mermaids on their individual canvas boards. “Everyone paints differently, so you can paint your own version,” said Madrigal, an instructor at the Hands In Art Studio in downtown Mission. Combining a birthday party with a tutorial on…

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Dancing as Fast as She Can 

In 1995, during her senior year at Lamar University, Lori Rodgers often traveled between Beaumont and Harlingen as she prepared to open her business. The dance major, with advice from her father Rick Mathes, had found a home for Rio Grande Valley Arts Studio in Harlingen and was having the building renovated. She convinced him that she did not need a teaching degree as a backup.“Dance is what I know…

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Talent Development = More Business

Jonathan Hess and Sindy Buezo-Hess intend to make their Hess Modeling Agency at the Studio on Broadway the go-to casting agency for deep south Texas.  After three years in business, they are supplying models and actors for regional commercials, promotional events and photo shoots in the Valley, San Antonio and beyond. To develop the talent pool, the couple established the Studio on Broadway with artistic and performing arts instruction in…

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